Draft 2022 – Pick #3: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame

Player Bio
Williams was the Class 5 Offensive Player of the Year in Missouri at St. John Vianney High School before arriving in South Bend for the 2019 season. He played in four games that year (4-26-6.5 rushing; 1-3-3.0 receiving) and shed 15 pounds after the season to gain quickness. The process worked, as he was voted second-team All-ACC, ranked ninth in the FBS with 1,125 rushing yards and tied for 10th with 13 rushing touchdowns (211 carries, 5.3 per; 35-313-8.9, one TD receiving). He was a finalist for the 2021 Paul Hornung Award (most versatile player) in his final year with the Irish, rushing for 1,002 yards and 14 scores (204 carries, 4.9 per) and catching 42 passes for 359 yards (8.5 per) and three touchdowns in 12 starts. Williams opted out of the team’s bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. His father, Larry, played linebacker at Northern Illinois and his uncle, James Gregory, won a national title at Alabama as a defensive lineman. — by Chad Reuter

By Lance Zierlein
NFL Analyst
Draft Projection
Rounds 6-7
NFL Comparison
Dion Lewis

Fiery team leader and combative runner who leaves it all out on the field. Williams has been a worker bee with a willingness to do the heavy lifting on all three downs and has premium third-down talent both in blitz pickup and as a route-runner out of the backfield. The Patriots’ usage of James White, Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden might be the blueprint for how to utilize Williams in the NFL.

  • Team captain.
  • Ready and willing to carry any workload asked.
  • Loose with wide, lateral slides to elude penetration.
  • Finds ways to wiggle out of trouble in tight quarters.
  • Runs with consistent pace.
  • Talented, well-rounded third-down option.
  • Experienced lining up and running routes from the slot.
  • Shifty to separate on option routes.
  • Rare understanding of protection schemes.
  • Scans for trouble and steps into the ring with grit and technique.
  • More quick than explosive.
  • Below-average burst as an outside runner.
  • More active than creative up to second level.
  • Unable to find sudden acceleration from his cuts.
  • Plenty tough but bounced around like a smaller back.
  • Lacks power to break tackles and move chains consistently.
  • Too many fumbles.
  • Average elusiveness in space after the catch.
Sources Tell Us
“I might be a little higher on him than others are. You look at how the Chargers use Austin Ekeler and I can see something similar like that for Kyren.” — Former NFL running backs coach

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